Nike Women’s Marathon SF: Week 11 training recap

This week’s lesson? Sometimes inspiration can come when you least expect it.


Not only was I prepping both mentally and physically to peak in mileage this week, but the schedule also included a distance that I’ve been anticipating (er, dreading) for quite some time:

  • Tempo run – 8 mi
  • Track workout – 4 x 1600s
  • Long run – 20 mi (!)

But then I saw this post from Pavement Runner and got totally fired up about pushing limits for two reasons: First, he ran a 38-miler in honor of a friend’s birthday the previous weekend; second, fellow runner/blogger EMZ was taking on her second 24-hour treadmill run (this one in SF to raise funds for education in India).



Pretty amazing, huh? So I stopped by the kickoff party at Rallypad on Thursday evening to watch her embark on the 100-mile adventure around 8 p.m.


It was quite the shindig, complete with drinks, dancing, a DJ and fun with fellow SF runners, @PavementRunner and @runeverafter.’s CEO Tom Serres even got in on the action by pledging in honor of employees, who could then get on an adjoining ‘mill and knock out a few miles next to EMZ.


And so she went for the next 24 hours, with some fantastic final results, not to mention raising awareness – and funds – for a great cause. Seriously (to use an ‘EMZ-ism’), she “freaking rocked it!”


As for my own running this week? Well, I cut Tuesday’s tempo down by a mile to seven for a quick loop before work. Heavy legs made for a slower pace, though, so it’s only fitting to include a shot of this little guy that I ran in to on my route.


The summer weather we had last week seemed like a distant memory as I ran through the morning fog and mist.


Thursday’s track workout reminded me (again) that I need to cool it on the pace right out of the gate. My target was 7:45-7:48 for each 1600, but after pushing for a 7:13 and 7:10 in the first two, I slowed significantly in the second two to 7:24 and 7:27.


And remember my quest for the best headbands? Well, I tested out a new brand this week, Bondi Band, starting with their sparkly, reversible Skinnyband ($9).

Pro: It stayed in place really well, despite the early evening wind, so it’s perfect for high-impact days. Con: The metallic fabric was a tad scratchy, so I’d recommend it for shorter workouts.


I also tried their Single Braided Skinnyband ($10), which comes in a bunch of great colors. This one was super comfortable, but didn’t have as tight of a hold, so I’d recommend it for those low-impact days – i.e. boot-camp (and, as you can see, it’s also Brydan- and Brian-approved!).


Here’s a close-up shot that shows both in better detail.

wk11-6 (2)

Oh, and another highlight of the week? Super Duper Burger. I’ve been craving cheeseburgers like crazy during training, and this is a new spot that’s been on the must-try list. I can now attest that they do, indeed, live up to the name.

Homemade pickles? Yes, please.


Needless to say, I was well fueled up going into the weekend’s 20-miler, which I decided to break into three parts. The first leg was eight miles on my own around the Marina before meeting up with with the Saturday morning run crew.

(Speaking of fuel, I ran right by one of my favorite dessert spots, Ghirardelli…can you tell I have food on the mind pretty much, non-stop, now?)


From there, I met up with the group to knock out the next eight miles. We covered a lot of ground, both literally and metaphorically, chatting about a range of topics over the course of the run. Of course (surprise, surprise), the conversation did turn to food about halfway through (as most long runs seem to do at some point).

For the third leg, I met up with hubby and Kevin, and we decided on a route through Golden Gate Park. I was 16 miles in, and they had just finished a swim in the bay, so we settled into an easy pace for a while before splitting; they went ahead to make a loop, while I doubled back.

Before I knew it, I hit 20 and kept going…partly because it was cold and windy (and I didn’t want to walk back in it to the car), and partly because I felt like I could keep going!!! But I didn’t want to push it too far…


The final tally: 22.5 miles. Aside from being completely soaked through with sweat (I drank two liters of water during the course of the run, yikes) and getting chilled and chafed as a result, I felt really good.

I do have to find some better sweat-wicking gear for the race, however, because this week’s shorts just didn’t cut it (see below). Anyone have suggestions?


My “reward” for this week’s milestone run: An ice-cold bath. Not fun at first, but you do get used to it.

A few tips for making it more bearable, based on my experience: Bundle up on top, get in the bath before you add ice to keep it from being such a shock, and don’t forget reading material to help pass the time.

Oh, and a bring burrito, too…can’t forget the food!


Stay tuned; next week marks the one-month countdown to race day!

Thanks to the folks at Bondi Band for providing samples for review; all opinions are my own. 

9 thoughts on “Nike Women’s Marathon SF: Week 11 training recap

  1. You are so amazing. Thank you so very much. Way to go on kicking that 22.5 mile run girl. That is so freaking awesome.
    All. Smiles.
    You. Freaking. Rock.


    • Thanks a million, EMZ! Appreciate you reading. You’re such an inspiration, and on so many levels…I’m excited to follow along on your adventures, and can’t wait to cheer you on on your next one! Next round of pickle juice in SF is on me 🙂


  2. Rock. Star. Status.

    I know you were nervous for 20 and you kicked it up to 22 means you are ready. Home stretch and legs are strong. Stick to the plan and pay attention to recovery. See you both in San Jose.

    Glad to see you at the EMZ launch party.


    • Thanks! Yes, feeling pretty good – just nursing a sore foot, so hitting it with ice. Just hoping I can get through the next two weeks (15, 20) and into the taper without any injury. You were part of the voice of reason, otherwise I might have kept going…but gotta save some for SJ. See you there!


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